Think of a feedback platform as a compass. No matter where you are along a journey, that compass can provide you with a sense of direction to reach your destination and accomplish your goals. As useful as a compass is while walking through unfamiliar ground, though, it doesn’t work entirely on its own. Without a magnetic north, it loses its effectiveness and utility, leaving you to conjecture and best guesses to find your way.
Like a compass, even the most sophisticated, convenient, and insightful feedback systems require precisely worded, targeted questions to fuel the surveys and other tools that generate the all-important people data to inform decisions. While employers should use a variety of topics and concerns to uncover a broad swath of insights, manager survey questions are particularly important in evaluating the effectiveness of supervisors and their decision making.
To help your organization fully leverage the insights and power of Hyphen’s feedback platform, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of such questions to reveal your workforce's authentic opinions and perspective on your enterprise’s management team. Use these questions as the magnetic north to Hyphen’s revelatory feedback compass so your organization never gets lost in the woods and always finds its destination.
To place the importance of management feedback in a proper context, researchers have conducted several recent studies to gauge management’s impact on a workforce and organizational productivity. As one might guess, managers play a vital role in the quality of employees within an enterprise, engagement levels, and overall efficiency and productivity.
Specifically, better-managed organizations are much more capable of attracting and retaining top talent which, suffice it to say, is a tremendous competitive advantage in a marketplace filled with rival firms all competing for the same candidates. Likewise, the simple act of replacing an underperforming supervisor with one that excels has a more significant impact on team productivity than even adding a top performing employee.
Regarding engagement, another study found that workers supervised by highly engaged managers are 60% more likely to be highly engaged themselves. Given the gravity of employee engagement within an organization that Hyphen has detailed in the past, it’s difficult to overstate the importance of management on everything from attrition and engagement to culture and productivity. Therefore, the following questions and topics concerning an organization’s managers are fundamental in guiding an employee feedback system designed to uncover the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that pulse throughout every enterprise.
Effective management requires a specific skill set and knowledge base to draw the most from a team. However, different organizations use different policies and procedures to choose their managers. While one supervisor might have a long track record of managing groups of people with extensive management training, another might have risen through the ranks and lack the insights and skills of others simply due to differing circumstances. In other words, no two managers are alike and will have different backgrounds, education, and experience that influence their managerial skills.
Use the following feedback questions to determine if your managers have the necessary skill set to be an effective leader in your enterprise. Collectively, these employee questions will help you gauge how managers respond in different situations and if they can maintain a healthy work-life balance within their team. Maintaining peak productivity from employees is often determined by a manager’s ability to find that balance without sacrificing motivation and commitment.
In any relationship, including one between an employer and employee, clear and fluid communication creates an indispensable foundation that leads to success. Regarding communication between management and their team, research has shown that when managers consistently converse with their employees -- whether face-to-face, by phone, or video conferencing -- those employees demonstrate higher engagement levels. For instance, that same research found frequent team meetings to increase team engagement almost three-fold versus managers who do not hold meetings with any consistency.
Furthermore, given the dynamic nature of modern business and management, supervisors that use a mix of in-person, telephonic, and video conferencing for their meetings experience even greater engagement from their team members. Aside from meetings, effective communication from management also includes timely responses to employee queries and concerns, ideally within 24 hours to, once again, maximize engagement amongst the team.
Naturally, it’s not coincidental to find that when managers are up to speed on what their employees are working on at any given time, individual team members exhibit greater engagement. Use these questions in your employee feedback strategy to determine how communicative management is with their team and, thus, how engaged the individual workers are with coworkers, management, and the enterprise as a whole:
Once again citing recent research, studies now demonstrate that a supportive environment where managers concentrate on employee strengths rather than weaknesses is a far more effective strategy in maximizing performance. To that point, 67% of employees are more engaged when their managers focus on strengths as their primary support method. Moreover, when managers leverage an employee’s strengths to bolster their growth and development, they are twice as likely to engage with their team members.
To best support their workers, managers are best served by placing them in a position to succeed in their roles, where they can continually play off their strengths and natural skills. From there, additional development and support to hone those skills and expand their knowledge base only increases their productivity and engagement with their team and organization. The following employee feedback questions will help determine how well a manager supports their workers and identify their own strengths and weaknesses regarding employee support:
Mentorship is about working with another person to help them grow and succeed. Within a working environment, the best mentors are managers that inspire the worker to excel in their position, providing insights above the employee’s daily routine as a sense of direction for career advancement. If the manager is a good mentor, the worker makes a stronger commitment to their position and organization, spurring them to move up within the ranks and establish higher goals. Use these questions within your employee feedback to judge how well a manager performs in a mentorship role.
As evidenced by the employee feedback questions we’ve provided, a manager’s role within an organization extends far beyond the simple notion of keeping projects on track. In fact, managers are a critical component to developing talent and establishing a sound, innovative, and skilled foundation for the entire enterprise. Therefore, it’s always in an organization's best interest to ensure their managers are consistently performing at optimal levels across their many responsibilities.
Hyphen’s feedback and engagement platform provides critical insights to gauge managerial performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and further their development to maximize results on productivity, engagement, and culture. However, just like the questions that drive the feedback surveys themselves, it’s of utmost importance for organization’s to implement and utilize Hyphen’s illuminating tools in a manner most suited for the enterprise’s particular needs and circumstances.
For instance, given the nature of employee feedback that targets manager performance, utilizing anonymous surveys and polls is often an invaluable tool that increases employee participation by shielding them from possible negative repercussions. Obviously, many employees might be hesitant to provide feedback on their direct supervisor in fear of a negative impact on their career and position within the organization.
Thankfully, Hyphen’s feedback platform can use anonymous tools to gather people data from a workforce that gives participants much-needed anonymity without sacrificing impact. In fact, anonymous surveys will provide employers with a higher degree of authenticity and reliability in the responses, making them even more insightful in identifying weaknesses within their managerial ranks.
Use the questions we’ve provided as a basis for deciphering pain points in your management to fully unlock your workforce’s potential. Also, remember that every organization is different so customize the questions to fit your specific needs. When coupled with the convenience and anonymous tools from Hyphen’s feedback platform, your enterprise will be able to amplify engagement, productivity, and commitment at every level of your workforce. High performing managers will create a distinct and lasting competitive advantage that will serve your organization for years, and Hyphen looks forward to showing you how.